On Tuesday, August 21, the Argentine authorities burned cocaine in the crematorium, which was discovered in one of the buildings of the Russian embassy in Buenos Aires. At the same time attended by the Minister of Security of Argentina Patricia Bullrich and Russian Ambassador Dmitry Feoktistov, TASS reported.
"It was a very complicated operation with a high level of interaction. Russian policemen came seven times, "Bullrich said and added that, thanks to joint actions and the replacement of cocaine with flour, it was possible" to expose the entire criminal chain both in Argentina and in Russia. "
"The active part of the operation to stop the supply of drugs is over, but we certainly hope that this is a start for a new cooperation between Russia and Argentina," Feoktistov said.
Bullrich also told about the beginning of the operation. "Former Russian ambassador Viktor Koronelli came to the Ministry of Security late at night and informed us that there is reason to believe that cocaine is located in one of the embassy buildings. We immediately called the gendarmerie, and the same night until 6 am, when people who were following this room were due to arrive, we replaced cocaine with flour. Then there was a long joint work of the gendarmerie and police of Russia. The operation lasted 14 months, and at some point we already thought that they would not come for a load, that they realized that someone had suspected something. However, everything went well, "Bullrich said.
The Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia believes that the cocaine belonged to an entrepreneur from Germany, Andrei Kovalchuk, who, with the help of Russian accomplices, planned to resell it in Europe in the future. In Moscow, three accused were arrested in the "cocaine case": this is the former registrar of the embassy Ali Abyanov, to whom Kovalchuk, according to investigators, left the cargo for storage and ordered to organize its shipment to Russia, as well as entrepreneurs Vladimir Kalmykov and Ishtimir Khudzhamov, who were detained, when they came for cargo to the Foreign Ministry warehouse in Moscow. Kovalchuk, Kalmykov and Khudzhamov insist that they tried not to smuggle drugs into Russia, but coffee from the elite Kopi Luwak, which was replaced by cocaine as a result of the provocation.
Kovalchuk was detained in Germany on March 1. The Russian Prosecutor General's Office sent a request to the German colleagues to extradite Kovalchuk. In July, he was extradited to Russia and placed in the Matrosskaya Tishina detention center.
In February 2018, Argentine Security Minister Patricia Bullrich said that employees of the Russian embassy in Buenos Aires discovered 389 kg of cocaine on the school grounds at the diplomatic mission. After the announcement of Victor Koronelli, the suitcases with cocaine were equipped with GPS-sensors, and the contents were replaced with flour. After almost a year the cargo was transported to Russia under the control of the special services - it was necessary to uncover the entire chain of smugglers. In this special operation, a special flight detachment (SOS) "Russia" was used, its routes coincided with the movements of the head of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev.